Category: Motorsport

Marquez pulls off largest winning margin at MotoGP Round 2

Reigning Champion and pre-race favorite Marc Marquez has captured his first win of the year at the Termas de Rio Hondo, home of the MotoGP Round 2 race in Argentina. Though Marquez won the race, Valentino Rossi was the real highlight of the race as the Doctor pushed to the limits and finished in a remarkable runner-up spot.  Third place went to the first round winner, Andrea Dovizioso.

Marquez had a lightning start from pole and was quickly up by a second ahead of everyone else after just a lap. From there, the defending champion never once looked back. Rossi, meanwhile, started strong from fourth on the grid and held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn’t succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back up. Dovizioso, too, was among the leaders as he feld second for most of the race.

Up front, Marquez was able to pull away lap after lap and had a 12-second at the three-quarters mark. In an amazing last dash to the finish line, Rossi decided to make his move to tussle with Dovizioso for second place. The pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.

Marquez was the winner and his win was accompanied the biggest winning margin in a dry MotoGP race, The Champion’s previous best coming at the 2016 Argentina GP (a gap of 7.679s) and is his 45th win in the premier class. Marquez leaves Argentina with 45 points and the championship lead

Fourth was the Satellite Pramac Racing Jack Miller who topped factory riders  Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Dnailo Petrucci (Ducati). Seventh through tenth were the Satellite teams.

MotoGP circus prepares to travel to Austin, Texas for round three at the Red Bull Gran Prix of The Americas, 12 – 14 April.

MotoGP Round 2 Termas de Rio Hondo results

1            MARQUEZ Marc              Repsol Honda Team       41’43.688

2            ROSSI Valentino       Yamaha MotoGP                           +9.816

3            DOVIZIOSO Andrea         Ducati   10.530

4            MILLER Jack               Pramac Racing   12.140

5            RINS Alex                    Suzuki Ecstar     12.563

6            PETRUCCI Danilo             Ducati                 13.750

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki        LCR Honda         18.160

8            QUARTARARO Fabio      Yamaha SRT                     20.403

9            ESPARGARO Aleix           Aprilia Racing    25.292

10          ESPARGARO Pol 44          Red Bull KTM    25.679

Riders standings

1            MARQUEZ Marc              SPA       45

2            DOVIZIOSO Andrea         ITA        41

3            ROSSI Valentino ITA       31

4            RINS Alex            SPA       24

5            PETRUCCI Danilo             ITA        20

6            CRUTCHLOW Cal             GBR       19

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki        JPN        16

8            MILLER Jack       AUS       13

9            ESPARGARO Aleix           SPA       13

10          ESPARGARO Pol SPA       10

MotoGP contingent heads to Argentina for Round 2

After an exciting season-opener in Qatar, MotoGP prepares for Round 2 at familiar grounds of Termas de Rio in Argentina. The Argentine round is one of the longest races in the championship at over 120 kilometers across 25 laps. Characterized by multiple long straights, demanding left-hand corners and often-unpredictable weather, the race has produced five different premier class winners in six years.

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez is eager to sought his revenge after a close-shave battle with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who won the first race. Marquez has a brilliant record at Termas with two wins previously, the only premier class rider to win there more than once. “We started well in Qatar and fought until the end for victory. The goal is of course to do the same in Argentina and take as many points as possible. Time between the two races has been good, I was able to return training with a motocross bike and I feel confident for this race.”

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo had a first race to forget, but he vows to come back strong in Argentina. The multiple Champion will continue to learn and adapt to the RC213V machine. After a physically punishing weekend, where it was later revealed he had sustained a fissure to one of his ribs, Lorenzo and the team are aiming for a smooth weekend.

Following a good weekend in Qatar, Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who finished 1st and 6th , hope to continue their consistent results in Argentina. Dovizioso rode with all his might and experience to fend off Marquez for the win. He feels that the bike has a superb straight line speed, but needs improvement on the corners.  “We need to improve our corner speed. This year there are plenty of quick riders and it’ll be crucial not to lose too many points on less favorable tracks.”

Petrucci on his full factory squad stint is confident to support his championship leading team mate. He aims to finish in the top five, given the bike’s praise-worthy performance.

Factory Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales need to answer their rivals in a hurry, otherwise it’d be a long and arduous season for the proud MotoGP squad. Rossi was just 0.6s off the victory at the opening round, despite starting from fourteenth. He showed great potential of this year’s YZR-M1.

In Argentina, Rossi is big with the South American fans. The nine-time champion hopes to not disappoint his fans there and aims for a podium finish, like he did in 2015 with a win. In 2016 and 2017, he took scored second on both occasion.

Though he didn’t end the first race of the season as high as he would have liked, Viñales took the positives from the first weekend in Losail and is motivated to show his speed again at Termas. Vinales had a win in Argentina two years ago, but he struggled here last year in a slightly chaotic and challenging race, but he still took home solid points, securing fifth position. This year he wants to feel competitive again, so he can duplicate the 2017 result.

The action in Argentina starts a bit later than usual, from Malaysian time.As always, practice, practice/qualifying 1, qualifying 2 and raceday.

Malaysia’s Motorsport Athlete shines bright at 2019 Asia GT Festival

At the recent Asia GT Festival 2019 15 – 17 March, Malaysan Motorsport Athlete Leona Chin was in the thick of the action at the Sepang International Circuit. In her Silver Evolution 7, she muscled her way to a third place finish against a stiff Super Street competition. She also participated in the less-fancied Saga Cup where she topped the Ladies category.

Leona, who was recently awarded the country’s Most Inspiring Female Motorsports Athlete, proved once again that she could stand up to the best on the grid, especially the male counterparts.

Despite an  electrical issue on her Silver Samurai, teddy bear-cladded Evo7, Leona took a podium spot in race 2 thanks to some slick work by her team mechanics.

All in all, Leona’s starting weekend of racing was a decent warm-up for the most sought-after female racer in the country. A couple of podium finishes and an overall third place in the rankings weren’t bad at all for a start.

Up next, Leona aims to participate in the Malaysian Championship Series (MCS) for a full season. The MCS features 10 races over a span of five months. The MCS first round starts in April, with each round featuring two races. :Leona’s race interests aren’t just for domestic events, but International as well. She is linked to the China GT series and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. Her next step is to secure sponsors for her race exploits and bring her sponsors to the wonderful world of motorsports, The MCS costs RM200,000 for the season, while the China GT and Lamborghini ST cost RM300,000 for a race weekend.

Leona’s determination and grit shine bright on the racetracks, which could in turn benefit her sponsors in many ways. Over the years, she has developed into quite a popular ambassador or spokesperson for renowned brands such as; Mitsubishi Motors, Petron, GoPro and more.  If you’re not part of the Leona bandwagon, then we suggest you search for her on the social media or youtube, or better yet visit www.leonachin.com

F1 Australian GP: Bottas and Mercedes dominate season-opener

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton captured the season-epener in Melbourne. The Mercedes drivers dominated the race from their usual rivals, the Red Bulls and Ferraris. Best finisher for Red Bull was Max Verstappen, while Ferrari’s top driver was Sebastien Vettel, who was fourth. Vettel’s team mate and Ferrari rookie Charles Le Clerc took fifth spot, ahead of  Hass’ Kevvin Magnussen. The top six drivers finished with a lap advantage to the drivers in positions 7th through 10th. The results proved that the top-tiered guys are far faster than the mid-tiered and bottom-rung teams.

For Bottas, it was only his fourth F1 win, and the 1-2 finish meant a 45th time for the Silver Arrows in F1. Mercedes top the Constructors with 44 points from Ferrari (22).

Bottas led the pack from the starting grid, followed by Hamilton and LeClerc, who overtook the Red Bull of Verstappen. Verstappen had Vettel all over his rear view mirrors, but managed to hold his position. Behind them, Daniel Ricciardo lost his car’s front wing as he tried a move on the grass. He had to pit for a new nose. Verstappen sneaked past LeClerc on lap 3, who ran wide in a tussle with Vettel.

Up front, Bottas had a 2.0 seconds lead and stretched the lead by another second on lap 10. A couple of laps later, a McLaren was out of the race; when the Carlos Sainz’ car went up in flames on track.

The first round of stops was scheduled on lap 15, with the race leaders stopping a lap later starting with Hamilton.  The reigning champion retook the track, ahead of Vettel. They were fourth and fifth.

Bottas was in a clear lead as he worked a  fastest lap to extend lead from Verstappen and LeClerc. Meantime, Vetstappen was trying to extend the gap time from his chasers, namely Hamilton and Vettel.  

Before half-distance of the race, Bottas made his tyre swap; a one and only stop. He rejoined second behind the Red Bull. Who’d to pit again. On lap 26 of 58, Verstappen made his stop and the lead went back to Bottas. At that point, Hamilton  was complaining about his depleting tyres, which could force an unnecessary stop. But, it didn’t take a turn for the worse.

After his race-start incident, Ricciardo would have to retire from his home race from a damaged part on his RS19.  Back at the front, the two Mercedes led Vettel, Verstappen and LeClerc. Verstappen quickly beat Vettel for third on an outside move  at turn 3. He was only 2-sec from Hamilton. In the ensuing laps, Verstappen tried to chase down the defending champion but Hamilton held firm.

In the closing laps, Bottas was sailing home for the win at the season-opener. Hamilton had to watch out for the flying Dutchman, who’s just 1.5s behind. Fourth and fifth were the Ferraris, as LeClerc closed tha gap to Vettel from 12s to 4s. Verstappen chased down the Mercedes hard, until he ran on to the grass and basically conceded second to Hamilton,

In the final five laps, LeClerc was within 2s from his team mate. The Ferraris were a full stop away from the Haas of Magnussen. A fastest lap for Bottas on the final lap ensured the win and a bonus point. Hamilton held off a hard charging Verstappen. The Ferraris settled with Vettel’s fourth and LeClerc’s fifth. Aside from Magnussen, the rest of the field were a lap behind.

Bottas commented in post-race, “We could not have asked for a better start to the season – getting maximum points for the team is a perfect result and we couldn’t be happier. The key was the start; I think Lewis may have had a bit of wheel spin, so I was able to take the lead. My race pace was really strong, I could pull away and build a gap. In the end, I managed to get the fastest lap as well, which of course means an extra point this season, so I went for it. It can be a little risky with worn tyres, but I had it all under control.”

F1 Australian Grand Prix results

1     Valtteri Bottas      MERCEDES        1:25:27.325  

2     Lewis Hamilton    MERCEDES        +20.886s      

3     Max Verstappen   RED BULL RACING +22.520s      

4     Sebastian Vettel   FERRARI             +57.109s      

5     Charles Leclerc    FERRARI             +58.230s      

6     Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI             +87.156s      

7     Nico Hulkenberg  RENAULT            +1 lap   

8     Kimi Räikkönen    ALFA ROMEO RACING       +1 lap   

9     Lance Stroll   RACING POINT BWT      +1 lap   

10   Daniil Kvyat   TORO ROSSO +1 lap

Drivers standings

1     Valtteri BOTTAS  MERCEDES       26

2     Lewis HAMILTON       MERCEDES 18

3     Max VERSTAPPEN    RED BULL RACING     15

4     Sebastian VETTEL     FERRARI       12

5     Charles LECLERC      FERRARI       10

6     Kevin MAGNUSSEN   HAAS     8

7     Nico HULKENBERG   RENAULT       6

8     Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN       ALFA ROMEO 4

9     Lance STROLL    RACING POINT   2

10   Daniil KVYAT       TORO ROSSO       1

MotoGP season kicks off under the floodlights: Dovizioso Wins!

The first race of the new season was an exciting affair as Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso won a head-to-head battle against Reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez. Dovizioso was able to repeat the win from last year after 22 laps of non-stop fight with the Repsol Honda ace. In the end, the Italian won by just 23 thousandths of a second from the Spaniard.

LCR’s Cal Crutchlow topped Suzuki’s Alex Rins and the factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi for third and the final podium spot.

Off the block, Dovizioso shot to the lead, with Marquez hot on his tracks.,along with Rins who trailed the duo. Rossi, due to a poor qualifying position, had to start from 14th on the grid, but it only took a couple of laps for him to climb up to 10th.

Up front.  yhere was a frantic melee between the leading seven riders playing out over the next 20 laps. Marquez held a brief lead from Dovizioso within the 20-lap span, but Dovizioso made short work of it. Maverick Vinales was amongst the top seven, before Rossi quickly caught with the pack. Before long, a certain Franco Morbidelli passed the Doctor with 12 laps to go but the Italian didn’t let up.  Two laps later, the Doctor returned the favor, using the slipstream to overtake his compatriot going into turn 1.

By three quarters of the race, Dovizioso and Marquez were in their own world and the rest just tagged along. Rossi overtook his team mate after lap 15, then Joan Mir and Danilo Petrucci. In the final laps. Rossi would finish 0.600secs from the top.

Marquez made one last dash for the lead but Dovizioso covered his lines well to prevent that. Elsewhere, Petrucci rode a solid race, recovering several positions after suffering a non-optimal start from third row. After climbing back to third, Petrucci faced a small drop and finished the race in sixth, only two seconds behind his teammate. 

Dovizioso rode remarkably despite the slippery conditions, “I’m super happy about this win, especially because after the tests I wouldn’t have expected to be so fast. We stayed focused and we made progress in each session. Our strategy in the race was simply to preserve the tyre, and this made the difference, but it wasn’t easy because I led for most of the race and I couldn’t really study my opponents. Marquez gave it everything he could, as usual, and pushed me to the limit.”

Vinales would end up seventh, ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir, LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Aprilla’s Alexi Espargaro.  Jorge Lorenzo’s debut with Repsol Honda was heavily restricted by lingering pain in his back and shoulder, after heavy crashes a day before. Focusing on his own rhythm and understanding the Honda over race distance, Lorenzo battled to 13th to earn three points.

The MotoGP will be back in action in three weeks’ time at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the Argentine GP, held from 29th – 31st March.

2019 MotoGP Losail Circuit results

1            Andrea DOVIZIOSO        ITA        Mission Winnow Ducati              Ducati   166.6    42’36.902

2            Marc MARQUEZ              SPA       Repsol Honda Team              Honda  166.6    +0.023

3            Cal CRUTCHLOW             GBR       LCR Honda CASTROL              Honda  166.6    +0.320

4            Alex RINS           SPA       Team SUZUKI ECSTAR    Suzuki              166.6    +0.457

5            Valentino ROSSI ITA        Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP              Yamaha 166.6    +0.600

6            Danilo PETRUCCI            ITA        Mission Winnow Ducati              Ducati   166.4    +2.320

7            Maverick VIÑALES          SPA       Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP             Yamaha 166.4    +2.481

8            Joan MIR            SPA       Team SUZUKI ECSTAR    Suzuki              166.3    +5.088

9            Takaaki NAKAGAMI        JPN        LCR Honda IDEMITSU              Honda  166.1    +7.406

10          Aleix ESPARGARO           SPA       Aprilia Racing Team Gresini              Aprilia   166.0    +9.636

Riders standings

1            Andrea DOVIZIOSO        Ducati   ITA        25

2            Marc MARQUEZ              Honda  SPA       20

3            Cal CRUTCHLOW             Honda  GBR       16

4            Alex RINS           Suzuki   SPA       13

5            Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA        11

6            Danilo PETRUCCI            Ducati   ITA        10

7            Maverick VIÑALES          Yamaha SPA       9

8            Joan MIR            Suzuki   SPA       8

9            Takaaki NAKAGAMI        Honda  JPN        7

10          Aleix ESPARGARO           Aprilia   SPA       6

11          Franco MORBIDELLI       Yamaha ITA        5

12          Pol ESPARGARO KTM      SPA       4

13          Jorge LORENZO Honda  SPA       3

14          Andrea IANNONE           Aprilia   ITA        2

15          Johann ZARCO   KTM      FRA       1

16          Fabio QUARTARARO      Yamaha FRA      

17          Miguel OLIVEIRA             KTM      POR      

Renault F1 confirms Driver line-up

               
Ahead of the 2019 F1 Season, Renault F1 Team has confirmed its full driver line-up. Ex-Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo , Nico Hulkenberg, Jack Aitken (test and reserve), Sergey Sirotkin (Test and reserve) and Guanyu Zhou (Driver development) form the line-up for the team.

Ricciardo is familiar with Renault as he had previously raced with Red Bull, fitted with a Renault engine. The Australian debut in F1 with Red Bull in 2009, testing for Red Bull.  He then moved up to a full seat with Toro Rosso in 2011 and performed admirably.He next raced for HRT for a stint before going back to Toro Rosso for two seasons in 2012/13, After a successful stint at STR, he graduated to a full seat at Red Bull in 2014 where he would remain until the 2018 season. Up to this point, Ricciardo has 7 race wins under his belt, with 3 pole positions and 13 fastest laps in nine seasons in F1.

After a successful stint at STR, he graduated to a full seat at Red Bull in 2014m where he would remain until the 2018 season. Up to this point, Ricciardo has 7 race wins under his belt, with 3 pole positions and 13 fastest laps in nine seasons in F1.

Hülkenberg is now a veteran at Renault, after two full seasons with the team, The German started his F1 career with Williams in 2010 where he showed very promising performances. His impressive debut season convinced Force India to sign him up for the 2011 season, where he spent two seasons. He then shifted to Sauber for a season, before returning to Force India for the 2014 season and two more seasons. By 2017, he moved up to Renault and became the team’s lead driver. He will take on his third full season at Renault in the 2019 season. Hulkenberg has a pole position and two fastest laps in his

Renault’s test and reserve drivers Sirotkin and Aitken are two promising rookies to join the team’s program. Sirotkin is well accustomed to modern Formula 1 machinery. After spells as Renault Test Driver in 2016 and Third & Reserve Driver in 2017, the Russian graduated to a full-time F1 race seat in 2018 with Williams. Besides racing with Renault, the Russian will race with SMP Racing in the WEC (World Endurance Championship).

Aitken graduated from the Renault Sport Academy in 2019 after a three-year tenure, during which time he competed in the GP3 Series and Formula 2 Championship. He took one race win last year as a rookie in the Formula 1 support series, to which he will be returning this year with the Campos Racing team as part of his development program.

Sirotkin said, “We are well acquainted with the team, I spenttthe whole of 2017 in their factory and in the garage. It will be interesting to learn how far Renault has advanced in the development of the car over the past year; last season we were rivals and I could not see the work from the inside.”

“It’s a great feeling to continue with Renault F1 Team and I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’ve been part of the team since 2016, so to remain for a fourth season is a privilege and I’m determined to repay Renault’s faith in me. I drove the Formula 1 car a couple of times last year and I can’t wait to sample the Renault R.S.19 this season in the rookie tests and give my best to develop the package in any way I can. Last year was a lot about learning, but I feel ready this season to do the job and get the results I’m aiming for as I continue my development pathway within Renault,” Aitken added.

Vinales tops all in MotoGP Final Pre-season test


MotoGP’s final pre-season testing at Losail International Circuit, Qatar is done and dusted, prior to the start of the new campaign at the same track, 8 – 10 March.  

Repsol Honda’s pair of Reigning Champion Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo are more than satisfied with the outcome of the final testing. Marquez and Lorenzo were fourth and sixth fastest in the combined times, but it was Maverick Vinales who topped the final day’s proceedings, ahead of Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararp and Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

Although slightly delayed by the weather conditions at Losail, Marquez and Lorenzo were able to make up the lost time during their remaining time on track. Marquez led the charge and set a succession of quick laps, settling on a 1:54.613 before the end of his run. Even after a fall, the champion continued to push on and ran 144 laps and set the fourth best time of 1:54.613. Lorenzo also had a fall, but bounced back to secure the sixth best lap time after 115 laps.

Ducati factory squad’s Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso completed 126 and 132 laps respectively in their GP19s. Both riders tried first and foremost to optimize the setup for the race.

Championship rival Yamaha MotoGP riders both were persistent in the final day’s program, Vinales claimed the top of the combined time sheets, while Valentino Rossi was fifth overall.  Vinales did it with a scorcher lap of 1:54.208 on lap 25/50. Rossi improved on his lap times an eventually ended up fourth best in the final day’s time sheet, to go fifth best overall.

With a personal best of 1:54.818, Petrucci finished the tests in 10th position in the combined rankings, which were characterized by narrow gaps as the first 15 riders finished within one second. Dovizioso closed in 15th position, +0.387 behind his teammate, with a personal best of 1:55.205.

The new season is set to start in Qatar, 8 – 10 March.

2019 MotoGP Pre-seaosn Test combined results

1 VINALES Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1’54.208
2 QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.233
3 RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.385
4 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.405
5 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.443
6 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.445
7 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.452
8 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.562
9 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.581
10 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 0.610

Hulkenberg leads Renault charge in last day of First Formula 1 Pre-season Test

The first Formula One pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona is done and dusted as teams took the opportunity to perform first runs of their 2019 challengers. Although the first testing usually meant more of a shakedown rather than actual testing, it still offered teams plenty of data to work with to fine-tune the cars before the upcoming test, prior to the start of the season,

After four days of vigorous testing, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg topped the time sheets from Toro Rosso’s rookie driver Alexander Albon. Hulkenberg’s team mate and ex-Red Bull driver Daniel RIcciardo was third overall, ahead of the Mercedes duo of Valtteri  Bottas and Reigning F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton.

The R.S. 19s driven by Ricciardo and Hulkenberg were the fastest cars as Hulkenberg made his mark with a lap of 1:17.393.  Renault might be the dark horse this season, challenging the Mercedes and Ferraris for championship bragging rights. 

Toro Rosso’s rookie, Albon, completed the session in second, and prior t that he had topped the sheets in the first half. “The team made me feel comfortable after that and we were able to get on with the programme. I think everything is going to plan quite well, we’ve hit our mileage target which is important for the guys back at the factory, and of course at the same time, I’m still learning the car. The grip is so high that it took a while for my head to adjust to it, it’s been a big learning curve! I’m still not fully in the rhythm yet but I think after next week I’ll be there and ready to race.”  

Hamilton and Bottas covered 116 laps, with Hamilton’s best lap at 1:17.977 and Bottas at 1:17.857. Hamilton isn’t too concerned about not topping the time sheets. “The reliability has been really solid which is a great showing of all the hard work that everyone in the factory has done. But we have to keep on pushing, the competition looks very strong.”

Charles Leclerc, Lance Norris, Antonio Giovinazzi and the Haas’ of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen completed the top ten of the first pre-season classification. Alfa Romeo’s rookie driver Giovinazzi built on the progress made over the past three days together with teammate Kimi Räikkönen,

Most teams focused on aerodynamic testing and set-up work for both short- and long-runs throughout the 4-day testing.

2019 Formula One Pre-season test

1. Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 Team 1:17.393
2. Alexander Albon Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 1:17.637
3. Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team 1:17.785
4. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 1:17.857
5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 1:17.977
6. Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 1:18.046
7. Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 1:18.431
8. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 1:18.511
9. Romain Grosjean Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 1:18.563
10. Kevin Magnussen Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 1:18.720

Alfa Romeo unveils 2019 Challenger and new driver line-up

Alfa Romeo Racing, formerly Sauber Racing, has lifted the covers off their 2019 Challenger, the C38. Prior to the unveiling the new challenger did its first shakedown in Fiorano with Alfa Romeo Racing’s new driver pairing of ex-Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. Together, they completed 33 laps to hit the mandatory 100 km mark

Raikkonen, who’s into his seventeenth year in Formula 1, brings a wealth of experience to the team. For fans of the ‘Iceman, they would know the Finn’ actually began his F1 career with Red Bull Petronas Sauber back in 2001. Raikko will be assisting the team to push the team to be the best of the midfield teams.

Following his first impression of the C38, the Finn remarked, “The car felt good and I was able to get a first impression of the car we will be running this season. We will work on the last few details and head to Barcelona for two weeks of testing. I look forward to getting to know the car better there.”

The  Alfa Romeo C38 challenger is essentially a brand new challenger with plenty of new elements from new front wings to fresh rear wing end-plate lights.  

The car’s front and rear wing is wider, higher and simplified from last season’s car to aid the car;s aerodynamics. According to the technical personnel, these new front and rear wings help to ease overtaking as well.

Simplified brake ducts have been added  due to current technical regulations. This means the technical guys have less to play with and it’s up to the drivers to fully exploit braking, especially at high speeds.

The rear wing end-plate lights is there to afford better visibility during bad weather and of course, they are meant to improve safety. With current regulations, the required car and driver gross weight is now 740 kilograms; up 7 kg from last season. The driver, seat and equipment have to fit 90 kg to abide by the current rules.

In the current era of hybrid Formula One engines, the main power source is provided by a V6 1600cc engine, mated to a single turbocharger. The energy harvested during a lap by the Energy Recovery System (ERS) is accumulated into a battery pack and deployed via a 120kW electric motor. Meanwhile, the gearbox has 8 forward gears and 1 reverse gear. Alfa Romeo’s C38 uses a Ferrari engine.

Technical data

Chassis Carbon-composite monocoque
Front
Suspen
Double wishbone, inboard spring and damper unit actuated by push-rods
Rear Multilink, inboard spring and damper elements actuated by pull-rods
Brake 6 piston Brembo brake callipers, carbon-composite and discs and pads (Carbon Industries)
Gear Ferrari 8-speed quick-shift carbon gearbox, longitudinally mounted, carbon-composite clutch
Elec. MES
ERS Ferrari
Steer wheel Alfa Romeo Racing
Tyres/wheels Pirelli OZ

Dimensions & weight

Length 5,500 mm
Width 2,000 mm
Height 950 mm
Track 1,650 mm front
Track 1,550 mm rear
Weight 743kg minimum weight including driver at all times

Ferrari engine

Feature Description
Configuration V6 90°
Displacement 1,600 cc
Bore 80 mm
Stroke 53 mm
Valves 4 per cylinder
Maximum rev 15,000 rpm
Turbo charging Single Turbo
Maximum fuel flow 100 kg/h
Maximum fuel capacity 110 kg
Injection 500 bar – direct
Units per driver 3

Alfa Romeo Racing and drivers are currently in the Circuit of Catalunya, Barcelona for the first off-season test.

McLaren rely on All-new Driver line-up in recovery season

McLaren has announced its 2019 Challenger, the MCL34, and a new driver line-up for the new season. The drivers representing McLaren Racing in the 2019 campaign are ex-Renault F1 driver Carlos Sainz and the rookie Lando Norris. It is the first time in 12 years that McLaren had a brand new driver pairing.

MCL34 catapults a Recovery season for McLaren

The concept and design process of the 2019 McLaren MCL34, powered by the Renault E-Tech 19 engine, focuses on laying the foundations for development of the car throughout the season.
In looks, the MCL34 livery continues to sport the McLaren papaya orange, echoing the color chosen by Bruce McLaren for the team’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix entry in 1966. This year’s scheme is a progression from 2018, featuring a complementary blue that nods to the team’s broader racing heritage.

The MCL34 will make its on-track debut during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, from 18-21 February & 26 February – 1 March. Sainz and Norris will share the driving duties across both tests.

Sainz will start his fifth season in F1. “I’ve been especially focused on my preparations this winter. We know the big task ahead of us and we first need to evaluate where we are after the tests. From there onwards, I can’t wait to start racing and keep pushing forward together,” said Sainz.

On embarking his rookie season in F1, Norris is evidently pumped to start his debut campaign. “It’s been my dream to get to Formula 1 since I was a kid. I gained useful experience behind the wheel during practice sessions in 2018, and now I’m really looking forward to making my race debut with McLaren.”

Catch the McLaren drivers in action at the upcoming pre-season trials in Barcelona.